Wreaths Across America receives no government funding to support operations. Motivated and dedicated patriots across the country and at locations overseas power the Maine-based nonprofit organization. The mission to remember, honor, and teach is carried out daily by millions of citizens who care deeply for those who have served our nation in the armed forces, and their families. Some of these remarkable individuals are veterans themselves or come from military families while others are driven by a deep sense of patriotism and community service. 

Placing fresh, hand-made balsam remembrance wreaths on the headstones of veterans across the country in December requires tremendous logistics and unyielding support from the trucking industry.

Wreaths Across America shows its gratitude and appreciation for all those involved in transporting America's respect with "Trucking Tributes." These stories will introduce you to the men and women of the industry who make the mission possible.

When Al Schneider sold the family car and bought a truck 82 years ago, he turned to his fellow National Guard unit members as the company's first employees. The initial talent growth for the organization was through military connections.

In the late 60's, Al's son Don started to move the company forward. Don served in the U.S. Army as a field artillery officer before earning his Master's degree and becoming Schneider's CEO.

This historical information on Schneider's veterans hiring practices comes from military veteran Rob Reich Jr. who is Schneider's Senior Vice President of Equipment, Maintenance, and Driver Development. Rob joined Schneider almost 25 years ago directly out of the military.  He is "the son of a signal operator" and followed in the footsteps of his father upon graduating from the ROTC program at Penn State in 1989. Rob went on to serve our nation during Operation Desert Storm as a platoon leader with the 13th Signal Battallion of the 1st Cavalry Division. Rob's father, Robert Reich Sr. retired as a U.S. Army Colonel.

"There are a lot of similarities between the military and the trucking industry," Rob explains. "I think that's why you see a lot of veterans be successful as truck drivers because they're used to that independence that comes as part of the job and that you learn in the military to take charge of situations and make decisions. I think there's also that lifestyle element of being away from home and leaving families members behind for periods of time."

Rob says It's not just the drivers either. "We see it in maintenance as well. When you walk into a Schneider parts room, and you're a veteran you'd feel at home because it's run very much like a military parts room."

Rob says Schneider is a long-time supporter of the Wreaths Across America mission and they've developed the "Ride of Pride" tractor in conjunction with Freightliner.

"Freightliner does such a nice job with these tractors," Rob says. "Every year we're so excited and say this is the best one yet!"

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Every year, Schneider selects a veteran to promote both the military and Schneider as the Ride of Pride truck driver who hauls remembrance wreaths into Arlington National Cemetery.

"We go through an interview process, and it's always such a tough decision," Rob explains. "This year's Ride of Pride driver is David Price, who after 9-11 and at the age of 38 joined the Navy and served 14 years in the Navy Seabees. I know he's excited about participating with Wreaths Across America."

Thank you, David, Rob and the entire Schneider team for your patriotism and tireless support of the Wreaths Across America mission to remember, honor and teach.

You can hear more from Rob and our other patriots in our "Trucking Tributes" on Wreaths Across America Radio at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM Eastern Monday-Friday.

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